QUEENSBURY — A year of sweat has doubled a local man’s investment on Route 9.
Francis Martindale bought a 1.2 acre parcel next to Uno Pizzeria & Grill and across from Walmart last year. It had one building, a small unpaved parking lot, and was completely overgrown.
He had big plans. So he started chopping away the brush.
“I did everything myself, with clippers and a hand saw,” he said.
But he hit trouble when he started tackling the many trees on the property. That’s when he learned he would need variances and permits for the clearing the land and pouring fill to make it level, not to mention issues with parking and handling a curb cut onto Route 9.
“I don’t have the money for all that,” he said.
But he got the next best thing: offers from developers who could now see what the parcel had to offer.
“Once I got it cleared, people said, ‘Wow!’” he said. “This has a lot of potential.”
Russell Faden, who holds the franchise for a number of local Subway Restaurants, offered to buy the land and transform it. The plan will be considered at the town Planning Board on May 15.
He wants to move his Subway from a nearby strip mall to the site, as well as renting three other storefronts. He envisions 8,900 square feet for those rental storefronts, as well as a 2,500-square-foot Subway with 50 seats.
He would demolish the existing building and create a joint parking lot with the nearby Uno Pizzeria & Grill so that visitors could exit at the light. There is also a sidewalk between the two sites.
At the strip mall, there would be a right-only entrance and right-only exit.
The project is estimated to cost $1.2 million.
If it is approved, Martindale said he would consider his work at the site a success.
“I owned it a year and someone’s going to double my money,” he said.
For now, he is running a cellphone accessories and repair store at the site in one of the two storefronts. The other is vacant.
With his profit, he intends to develop property he owns in Fort Ann.